CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — No. Pirates weren’t invading Clayton on Wednesday.
The village instead received a last-minute visit from the Pride of Baltimore II, a reconstructed Baltimore Clipper, that has been sailing across the world for the past three decades.
The visit amazed both locals and tourists alike. Many shared pure amazement as they stared at the 157-foot-long vessel.
“I couldn’t believe it, it’s unbelievable,” Visiting Tourist Bill Mokes said. “When I drove down, I took a glance over and I couldn’t believe it. I had to come down and look at it in person.”
The vessel has incorporated history into its voyages. According to Pride of Baltimore II Captain Jan Miles, the boat promotes maritime education.
“This boat’s been sailing for more than thirty years,” Miles said. “As an American icon profile, these vessels have recognized the world around as something that is purely American.”
Miles went on to explain the vessel’s history. Baltimore Clippers first became popular during the War of 1812 due to their sleek and fast abilities.
“They became the most prolific in terms of capturing English Trade,” Miles said. “The reputation of Maryland, the reputation of Baltimore and the United States is enhanced by the beauty of the boat. The fact that she actually voyages, and we share her.”
Pride of Baltimore has been traveling the Great Lakes all summer, making stops on both the U.S. and Canadian side on a tall ships tour.
Clayton was its final American stop before the crew steers it out to the Atlantic Ocean.
“Clayton is a great spot for Alexandria Bay customs clearance and refueling,” Miles shared. “We want to give thanks to that welcome that we’ve had. We weren’t able to do it this spring, but we were able to do it downbound.”
The Pride of Baltimore II will leave Clayton Thursday morning, setting sail for home. It is expected to reach Baltimore by late September.